Adherence to follow-up recommendations for babies at risk for pediatric hearing loss

Maryrose McInerney, Rachel Scheperle, Wendy Zeitlin, Kenneth Bodkin, Barbara Uhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the families’ compliance with recommendations for continued monitoring of babies with high-risk factors for hearing loss. Methods: Hearing screening and follow-up results from 604 babies were tracked across a five-year period. Bivariate analysis, including chi-square analysis, t-tests, and one-way analyses of variance were conducted to test whether various factors predicted likelihood of follow up. Results: Although 86% of the babies returned for the initial follow-up appointment, few completed the protocol or were diagnosed with hearing loss (10.3%). Excluding the babies who never returned, the average age for initial assessment was near the recommended 3-month target (3.5 months). However, babies were last seen at 9.4 months on average, which is earlier than recommended. Some factors positively predicted follow-up: receipt of ototoxic medication, hyperbilirubinemia requiring transfusion, ECMO, syndromes associated with hearing loss, craniofacial anomalies, and passing the newborn hearing screening. Others were negatively predictive: NICU stay >5 days, younger maternal age, and failing the newborn screening. There was no relationship between the results of the last test and whether the families continued with monitoring. Babies with risks categorized as more likely to be associated with delayed onset hearing loss were more often late to the initial follow up, but also followed up for a longer period of time. Conclusions: These results demonstrate the need to focus on the barriers unique to babies with risk factors for late onset/progressive hearing loss in addition to those barriers that generally affect loss to follow up. Tools for parental engagement are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109900
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - May 2020


  • (4–6 for indexing)
  • Delayed onset hearing loss
  • High risk
  • Monitoring
  • Newborn hearing screening


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